Lucky In Japan: Things You Should Have Or Do

Japan is one of the many countries that believe in luck. There are several things that the Japanese people consider lucky. Some depend on these to pass an entrance examination or a job interview. Others make sure they have one or two lucky items before they play  PKV Games or enter competitions. Most of the lucky things are part of their tradition and culture even among those who do not believe in luck.

Kit Kat

This popular brand of chocolate bar is available in more than four hundred flavors. Not known to many, the term Kit Kat is a popular abbreviation in Japan for the phrase “Kitto Katsu.” It means “A Sure Win.” Red has always been an auspicious color in Japan. The red packaging of Kit Kat adds up to its lucky image. The Japanese believe that giving out packages of Kit Kat can give the recipient more luck. It is a popular gift for students during the exam period.

Kuro Tamago

The term has a literal translation of “black eggs.” These are eggs cooked in the Owakudani volcanic valley in Hakone. Local folklore says that eating one Kuro Tamago adds seven years to your life. Eating two adds fourteen years. But, eating three is a bad idea.


The Japanese believe that cranes are powerful creatures who lived a thousand years. A lot of people wanted to finish a string of a thousand origami cranes, or senbazuru, within a year. They believe that doing so will let the crane grant their wish.

Maneki Neko

Maneki Neko means “beckoning cat.” This fortune cat is a talisman to attract good luck and fortune for its owners. People who use Maneki Neko in their homes put the charm in the south eastern corner of the house. They associate this area with wealth. Putting it on your office desk will bring prosperity and career growth.


Ehomaki, translated as “lucky direction sushi roll,” are a Setsubun tradition. According to tradition, you have to eat an entire uncut thick sushi roll in silence. You have to do this while facing a lucky direction that changes each year. It was an Osaka tradition that spread nationwide since they consider it a fun thing to do on Setsubun.


You can buy wooden wish boards, or Ema, at Shinto shrines. After buying one, you write a wish or prayer on it, and then hang it at the shrine. It goes back to the Nara period where people donated horses to the shrines. They believed that the gods would listen to their prayers and fulfill their wishes when they do so.

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